CS Energy kicked off construction of a 10-megawatt landfill community solar project in Berkeley, the Edison company announced May 11.
It is the first project to simultaneously close a landfill and build a community solar system atop the landfill, according to CS Energy, which is working with New York-based clean-energy company Luminace on the construction.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with CS Energy and Luminace to close this landfill at no cost to our taxpayers and residents while also offering more affordable and cleaner sources of energy to our community,” Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato said in a statement. “My administration and the Council have set robust goals for resiliency and green initiatives and are pleased to have this outside the box, strategic method for generating revenue for the township on township-owned land.”
The Berkeley Township Landfill ceased operations in 1982 and had remained uncapped because of lack of funding. In 2020, CS Energy and the township entered a public-private partnership to close the landfill. Since then, CS Energy has worked to complete all relevant studies and permitting work for the project.
The Berkeley solar project is part of the state’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which enables utility customers to participate in a solar energy project that is remotely located from their property.
Once complete, the project will provide clean energy to 1,800 homes, 51% of which will be low- and moderate-income households, according to CS Energy, which estimated that the project will save participants roughly $6.4 million over the 20-year life of the project.
It also will contribute to Gov. Phil Murphy’s accelerated target of 100% clean energy by 2035, which he announced in February.
Once finished, CS Energy will have completed a total of 231 MW of landfill solar projects in the U.S. and a total 310 MW of solar projects in general in New Jersey.
Brendon Quinlivan, CEO, Luminace, said his company was pleased to once again partner with CS Energy on this “landmark project.”
Calling it a “first-of-its-kind project,” John Ervin, CS Energy vice president of development, added, “We look forward to completing the construction of this project and delivering a high-quality solar system and significant energy savings to residents.”
The project follows several others that are either taking shape or have already powered up in the Garden State, including: